The height of a church steeple

An engineer, a mathematician and an arts graduate were given the task of finding the height of a church steeple. (The first to get the correct solution would win $1000).

The engineer tried to remember things about differential pressures, but resorted to climbing the steeple and lowering a string on a plumb bob until it touched the ground and then climbing down and measuring the length of the string.

The mathematician laid out a reference line, measured the angle to the top of the steeple from both ends and worked out the height by trigonometry.

However, the arts graduate won the prize. He bought the vicar a beer in the local pub, and he told him how high the church steeple was.

Vocabulary Help

  • beer – cerveja
  • buy (buy, bought, bought) – comprar
  • climb – escalar, subir
  • differential pressures – pressão diferencial
  • engineer – engenheiro
  • find (find, found, found) – encontrar
  • ground – chão
  • height of a church steeple – altura da torre da igreja
  • high – altura
  • length – comprimento
  • lowering a string on a plumb bob – baixando um fio em um prumo
  • mathematician – matemático
  • measured the angle to the top of the steeple – mediu o ângulo ao topo da torre
  • prize – prêmio
  • string – fio
  • task – tarefa
  • touch – tocar
  • win (win, won, won) – ganhar
  • worked out the height by trigonometry – calculou a altura através da trigonometria

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